MIT is delving into data mining to tackle air pollution. They are now employing movements from cellphones to estimate exposure to PM2.5 and other air pollutants. The project is called Senseable led by Marguerite Nyhan, whose Tedx Talk I just saw (linked below). Consider the equation Risk = Exposure x Hazard, which requires both the hazard (PM2.5) plus exposure (activity data) to be known.
I didn't know you obtain cellphone data this way; it seems there exists a thing called Call Detail Records (CDRs) providing millions of anonymized records of mobile phones and wireless devices. From Dr. Nyhan's publication, what caught my eye was "To the author’s knowledge, a study applying extensive spatiotemporal population mobility estimates from mobile phone data in the assessment of population exposure to environmental pollution over a substantial study domain has not been conducted previously".
Still not quite sure where the CDR data comes from initially, but I think this may be a good starting point.
At SPARTAN, I am experimenting with a regular news section. Not necessarily news directly from our site, but anything interesting from around the world that could be worth sharing.
For example, this piece from Japan is interesting since it hi-lights the difficulty in determining the precise origins of PM2.5 despite
In other news, the fires of Indonesia are heating up, which is causing problems for downwind Singapore.
These fires are of interest to us at SPARTAN since last year we were able to measure Singapore's increasing PM2.5 from the same pattern of fires.